Manor Primary School, Uckfield, receives top award from autistic society

An Uckfield school is one of the first in the country to be awarded a top accreditation from the National Autistic Society.

Manor Primary School is the first mainstream school in East Sussex to be awarded with the whole school accreditation by the NAS, and only the second in England.

The accreditation is a recognition of the work the school does to support children with autism spectrum disorders. It is internationally recognised as the mark of excellent practice in the field of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

While various special schools in East Sussex and also some specialist facilities within mainstream schools have also won the award, Manor has received the accreditation for the whole school and the process of assessment took approximately two years.

Cllr Nick Bennett, the County Council’s Lead Member for Children and Families, said: “I am absolutely thrilled for everyone at Manor. It is extremely rare for a whole, mainstream school to achieve this award and so it is a huge achievement of which they can be justifiably proud. It is far from easy achieving accreditation from the NAS and to get it for the whole school is a remarkable achievement.”

At a special ceremony held at the school on Monday the school was presented with its award by Robert Pritchett, the director of Autism Accreditation at the NAS.

A delighted head teacher, Margaret Coleman, said: “We are thrilled to bits. This is a fantastic achievement and recognises the quality of teaching and learning for children with ASD.

“It also recognises the fantastic inclusion opportunities and challenges for all our children, not just those with ASD in the facility. It has a positive effect for everyone. It has been hard work but definitely worth the effort.”

To achieve the accreditation Manor had to be thoroughly assessed and had to provide evidence across 15 core standards and 11 additional specialist standards.

Among those it had to demonstrate its specialist knowledge and understanding of autism and how it provides individual support for those children with autism.

Manor School is a mainstream primary school with 400 pupils on its role. There are 13 children with a diagnosis of ASD spread across the school. The school also contains a specialist facility for up to six children which has been open for six years.

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